August 11, 2020

Wednesday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 12/11/2019

Corporate loopholes mean Florida taxpayers subsidize jobs in other states

In 1981, the Florida Legislature gave the banking industry a tax break. The goal was to entice banks to do their international lending from offices in Florida. Those banks, the thinking went, would then have to hire more accountants, loan officers and other white-collar workers here. But now, a national bank could get the Florida tax break even if it was doing its international banking in New York, San Francisco or some other part of the country. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]

Florida is barely in the conversation when it comes to top technology jobs

Cities covet high-tech jobs. Economic development professionals talk about them like they are the holy grail of the modern employment landscape. They pay well, attract young people and are perceived to be less vulnerable to automation. Creating a flood of tech jobs in any given city isn’t easy. In fact, it’s so hard that only a handful of metro areas have pulled it off. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

How America’s worst affordable housing shortage is hurting tourism workers

The shortage of affordable housing in the Orlando area is the most severe in the U.S. Just 20 units are available for every 100 low-income, working families who need them, according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition. It’s so bad that Orange County’s mayor calls the scarcity of inexpensive apartments and houses “embarrassing.” Officials also say the number of evictions is soaring to an epidemic level as rents continue to rise. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]

Officials want $100M for reef restoration in Florida Keys

Federal officials have announced plans to raise $100 million to fund projects to restore seven significant coral reef sites in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. “Mission: Iconic Reefs” calls for restoring nearly 70 acres (28 hectares) of the Florida Reef Tract, one of the largest strategies ever proposed for coral restoration, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said. [Source: AP]

Using virtual reality, U.S. Army researchers in Orlando seek to train soldiers on IED detection

Virtual and augmented reality has become one of the fastest-growing methods of training workers in fields like maintenance, medicine and even making fried chicken. The U.S. Army has been developing its IED-detection trainer for three years, with the goal being to replace $20,000, physical and bulky trainers that must be used in the field using cans or other metal objects with smaller, $500 devices that can be used virtually. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› Palm Beach County tourism leaders banking on big economic impact from Super Bowl LIV
It’s the biggest single-day sporting event in the United States, and in February, South Florida will host Super Bowl LIV. The big game is an event that the Executive Director of the Palm Beach County Sports Commission said could be a game changer for the tourism economy.

› So you missed Art Basel? There are plenty of art exhibits you can still see in Miami
Another Art Week has come and gone. As usual, there were too many festivals, parties, openings and Kanye West operas going on for anyone to do it all. Thankfully, some of the exhibits stay with Miami for a while.

› Universal Orlando seeking $350 million in corporate tax breaks
Universal Orlando is in line for nearly $350 million worth of state tax breaks to build a new headquarters for the division that designs its theme parks, rides and hotels, according to records obtained by the Orlando Sentinel. The $348 million in state income tax breaks, which would be spread over as many as 30 years, is in addition to $125 million in local money that Orange County plans to give Universal to help pay for a new road through Universal’s property.

› Visit Tampa Bay starts fiscal year strong thanks to bed tax hike
Hillsborough County’s decision to up its tax on overnight stays has added nearly $1 million in revenue already. Visit Tampa Bay, the nonprofit that markets the destination and tracks bed tax revenue, is only a couple of months into its new fiscal year.

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